Psychology: Growing by Degree

A man's measure can be taken precisely in feet and inches, but he also has a far less exact psychological, or perceived, height. In the eye of the be holder, he may seem taller or shorter in direct proportion to his title or accomplishments. So says Australian Psychologist Paul R. Wilson in the Journal of Social Psychology.

To test the relationship between status and stature, Wilson introduced a stranger from Britain by a different academic rank to five groups of Sydney students. Later, after the visitor had left, he asked each group to estimate the man's height. As plain "Mr. England,...

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